Dolphins owner Stephen Ross issued a statement Wednesday night in which he said he takes “great personal exception to these malicious attacks” in response to former head coach Brian Flores’ allegations made in a recent lawsuit and said “we will cooperate fully” with the NFL’s expected investigation.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier Wednesday that the league is expected to investigate allegations Flores made in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court that Ross offered him $100,000 per loss during the 2019 season.
“With regards to the allegations being made by Brian Flores, I am a man of honor and integrity and cannot let them stand without responding,” Ross said in a statement obtained by NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe. “I take great personal exception to these malicious attacks, and the truth must be known. His allegations are false, malicious and defamatory. We understand there are media stating that the NFL intends to investigate his claims, and we will cooperate fully. I welcome that investigation and I am eager to defend my personal integrity, and the integrity and values of the entire Miami Dolphins organization, from these baseless, unfair and disparaging claims.”
Flores, who is Black, filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three of its teams — the Broncos, Dolphins and Giants — alleging a pattern of racist hiring practices by the league and racial discrimination. The suit alleged that Ross told Flores he would pay him for every loss during the 2019 campaign, Flores’ first with the club, so that Miami would end up with the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which was eventually used by the Cincinnati Bengals to select quarterback Joe Burrow.
Speaking Wednesday on CBS Mornings, Flores said that his decision to not go along with Ross’ plan hurt his standing within the organization and “ultimately was the reason why I was let go.”
Following the news of Flores’ suit, the Dolphins released a statement Tuesday denying “any allegations of racial discrimination and are proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organization. The implication that we acted in a manner inconsistent with the integrity of the game is incorrect.”
Flores was fired last month by Miami after leading the Dolphins to a 24-25 record over three years. They went 9-8 in 2021 for their second straight winning season, but failed to make the playoffs during his tenure.
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